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Hiring Talent: Michael Jordan vs. Myself

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Hiring for "Signature Service"; The importance of hiring natural talent to be the face of your restaurant and the process of hiring employees that are passionate about service:

"Signature Service" is passionate hospitality. Your customer should walk away from your establishment with a "Wow, what a breath of fresh air that was!" In fact, in this ultra
competitive industry "Signature Service" may be the one thing that separates you from your competition. When all else is the same price and quality, customers will choose you for your service.

Talent is defined as the natural ability to perform a task without conscious thought. Skill is developed through repetition of tasks.

A hypothetical example I like to use:

"One fine summer day, Michael Jordan (yes that Jordan) and I decided to have a one on one in basketball . I admit it, I have zero skill in shooting baskets and Mr. Jordan has a natural talent, shoots without conscious thought. Mr. Jordan decides that he will give me 6 weeks to practice. I practice 60 hours a week, 7 days. I practice my skill sets over and over.

On game day, Michael Jordan showed up. Who do you think won? Michael Jordan has the natural ability to play basketball and the outcome is a no brainer and not surprising."

Now let's bring that back to our situation. We are hiring talent. What are some of the talents that we are looking for? I feel these are important:

> A natural and warm smile. No need to fake it. This person walks in happy and is always smiling.
> The ability to make eye contact. During the interview, notice if your candidate is able to look at you and make eye contact.
> A welcoming personality. Enjoys talking to people. If they continuously jabber then I guarantee they will have no problem having your customers feel welcomed.
>A caring personality. If a customer doesn't walk away with a smile, they will take that rejection personally.

Is this difficult and hard work? Absolutely. Finding a gem is always hard but rewarding once it's found. If you hire with talent in mind, instead of just "filling" a position, you can start the framework for rebuilding your team with "Signature Service" as its new foundation. Just like in my competition with Michael Jordan, if you hire just to fill the "spots" then your outcome is just as predictable. Your customer service programs will not work. High turn-over, lower sales volumes, low morale, and no loyalty. Not only that but you will find it difficult to hire and retain key and talented individuals.

Effecting Change In Your Restaurant

>At the end of the day, it comes to how you take ownership of your situation. You may find that everything is fine and leave things as they are, but your competitor will not. Studies have shown that to begin a program of change, it requires a 16 day regiment of :

Education and Commitment

>You must set expectations and standards and hold your team to them.

Evaluation and Benchmarking

>Provide yourself and your employees a way of evaluating their performances and being able to benchmark them for improvement

Correction and Encouragement

>People will make mistakes. Correct them and re-enforce your expectations.
>Always praise in public, chastise in private.

Celebration and Reward

>When milestones are reached, celebrate and reward the team as well as the individuals when goals have been met.
>This is an important key to success, without recognition people will tend to "forget" what you are trying to accomplish.

To close, remember "Talent brings talent." Those talented individuals will bring more referrals, talented people like to surround themselves with other talented people.

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